Akane Sano is an Assistant Professor at Rice University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. She directs Computational Wellbeing Group. She is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She has worked on both basic and applied research on human wearable and mobile sensing, human data processing and the applications.
Her expertise is in human measurement, data analysis, signal processing, algorithm development, and experiment and user study design.
Her basic interests are based on the measurement, analysis, and understanding of something invisible or complex. Her research interests include non-invasive monitoring, data mining, signal processing, wearable sensors, artificial intelligence, probabilistic models, social computing and digital fabrication.
In health care and wellness studies, she is especially interested in mental health, emotion, stress and mood: monitoring long-term human multi-modal data in the real world, detecting regular and irregular physiological or behavioral patterns and developing intervention/feedback system that could change, improve and maintain human behaviors and physical or mental condition.
Recently, she has been working on sleep and circadian rhythm that can be related to our entire physical and mental health.
She received her both BEng and MEng (Applied Physics and Physico-informatics/Biomedical Engineering) from Keio University in Japan, where she conducted electroencephalogram (EEG) research relating to both motor control and brain-computer interfaces. During her masterís study, she was a research assistant in the Laboratory for Advanced Signal Processing, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Japan and a visiting student at the Center for Sensory Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Denmark.
After her master degree, she worked for Sony Corporation, Japan from 2005 to 2011. She spent most of her time on R&D, where she spent the first 3.5 years on developing new applications in the areas of wearable computing and human computer interaction. In the wearable computing projects, she involved in the development of user-friendly devices such as mp3 player and a headphone to measure human physiological and behavioral signal and applications such as music selection, recommendation and life log. She was also involved in the development and implementation of "shuffle shake","music pacer" and "sports mode" in NW-203/5S, a mp3 player with a accelerometer. commercialized in 2006. In the latter part of her time at Sony, she worked on research on wearable computing, HCI, personal healthcare and artificial intelligence.
In 2010 fall, she joined Affective Computing Group at MIT Media Lab and completed her PhD in 2015 Fall. In 2012, she worked for Panafold in Palo Alto, CA, where she prototyped iphone/pad app to learn Japanese characters. She also worked for Intel at perceptual computing group in 2012, where she prototyped new healthcare technology with electrocardiogram sensor. In 2014 summer, she worked for Microsoft Research on HealthSense project, where she developed a system to monitor daily office workers' sleep, stress, diet, exercise and productivity and provide wellbeing advice and analyzed the data. For her PhD, she started SNAPSHOT study project and worked on measuring College Students' sleep, stress, mental health and wellbeing using wearable sensors and mobile phones
From 2015 to 2018, she was a Research Scientist in Affective Computing Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab. She was also a Visiting Scientist/Lecturer at Cornell University, People Aware Computing Lab from 2017 to 2018.